Friday, February 27, 2015

Mohawk Farms Fancy Butter

Mohawk Farms butter wrapper
Collection of Cornwall Historical Society

Sheldon Clark started making butter at Mohawk Farm in East Cornwall during the mid-1800s. His wife, Melissa, assisted with churning butter. She started making cheese for the family in 1868.

In collaboration with Noah Rogers, Sheldon Clark shipped his butter from the Cornwall Bridge train station to markets in New York and Bridgeport. He eventually scaled back and sold butter only locally.

Sheldon Clark whetting a scythe, c. 1880
Collection of Cornwall Historical Society

Sheldon and Melissa's son, Andrew Clark, took over the farm in the 1880s, producing butter in half-pound and one pound pats, which he delivered to his customer's homes weekly. As with the previous generation, Andrew's wife, Mary Lydia, assisted with the farm, curing the cream daily, stirring it twice each day with a specialized hand tool.

Mary took over the butter business following Andrew's death in 1925, managing to keep it going through the height of the Great Depression with the help of her children and grandchildren. Other family members and friends pitched in as well to help keep the farm producing butter until 1941.

Mary Lydia Clark, c. 1920
Collection of Cornwall Historical Society